RIDGEWOOD, NJ — In the next installation of HomeGrown: Ridgewood, Host Stephanie Willoughby visits with staff and performers at Porch Light Productions, a theater company in Bergen County offering theater and related arts programs for students from kindergarten through college. 

Founded in 2005, Porch Light Productions features a wide range of programs, such as classes in acting techniques, full musical productions, student showcases, voice, dance, private lessons, and summer camps. Ryan Pifher, Co-Owner & Artistic Director, spoke with Willoughby about the support received from the community when Porch Light first launched. 

“There wasn’t a huge arts outlet for those who were painters or actors or musicians, so to have the support of not only the parents and the students, but the town as well,” Pifher said, “There are so many different, great groups in town that support the arts.” 

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Porch Light also maintains partnerships with schools in and around the Ridgewood area to offer in-school programs for students. Their black box theater regularly features their own productions but can also be rented to local theater companies. 

“Theater, for me, has always been that place where you can be anything and anyone, and you’re always welcome,” Pifher said. “And that’s a very rare thing,” he added. “We try to get kids, through theater, to find out who they are and then celebrate it.” 

“As long as there are places like Porch Light,” said Willoughby, “there will continue to be safe spaces for kids to let their imaginations soar.”